Our last stop was Victoria, British Columbia. We docked a little after six in the evening and were only there until midnight, so we had a very short visit. We spent it at Butchart Gardens.
Jennie Butchart created these gardens out of a limestone quarry that she and her husband, Robert, owned. At its peak in her lifetime, there were 35 full-time gardeners employed. I'd love to know how many people it employs now--much more than 35, I'm sure. The ownership still remains in her family, although at one point one of the family members offered it to the city for $1. The city refused, knowing it couldn't maintain such a place, and so the family got busy making it work.
And they have.
The above shot of a fuschia blossom is the first time I've ever had luck using the "flower" feature on our camera. You should be very glad I'm not posting all the flower pictures I took.
As the last part of the quarry was exhausted, the quarry was transformed into a stunning sunken garden.
There is a formal garden, which isn't my personal favorite type, and an amazing Japanese garden.
There were some beautiful water lillies, and a rose garden that I would love to visit some year in July or August. There were a few blooms when we were there, and I can only imagine what it looks like when most of the plants are in bloom.
The gardens are so gorgeous that even the trash cans have planters on the top of them. This statue was at the entrance of the gift shop, I believe.
On the way to and from the Gardens, the bus driver drove past some Victoria highlights and told us about them. This is a very bad picture of their Parliament building, although it's the best one I could get out of several tries. The architect had it outlined in 3,333 light bulbs, so it always looks like a Christmas decoration.
Victoria was our last stop. We spent the next day traveling back home, and the day after that doing laundry. It was a fabulous vacation, and I'm trying to hold on to all the beauty we saw.